Terence McKenna at St. John the Divine's
Cathedral, Synod Hall, New York, April 25, 1996
"Tim Leary once said of LSD, it's "a compound that occasionally
causes psychotic behavior in people who don't take it." ...That's how powerful
these things are! And the reason is, they are a direct challenge to the myth of
the tribe - whatever the myth is: Fascist, Democrat, Socialist,
Communist -- everybody can get together on the idea that psychedelics are
somehow dangerous and antisocial and pose some kind of threat to the body
politic. That's because all these ideologies, from the psychedelic point of
view, are seen in all their limitations and foolishness, and their historical
assumptions and their naivetè writ large across them. Ideology is a
fool's game. Or it's a scoundrel's game. Because scoundrels use ideology to
control fools. And nobody wants to be caught in that situation.
Terence McKenna live at the 'Fez'
Somebody said, not Tim Leary, "LSD is a psychedelic drug which
occasionally causes psychotic behavior in people who have not taken it."
Now a lot of drugs are like that, and we have a lot of psychotic people running
around who have been driven mad by drugs they never took. But what they did take
was your civil rights, your freedom to guide your own life, and your right to
make your own decisions. This kind of thing is intolerable.
If there is an iota of possibility that these substances enhance
consciousness - and remember, they used to be called "consciousness
expanding" drugs (just a straight phenomenological description) - if
there's an iota of possibility that they augment consciousness, then we have to
put the pedal to the metal in this matter. Because it is the absence of
consciousness that is pushing us toward extinction, that is causing us to loot
our children's future, that is causing us to accept the elimination of thousands
of species per month without pouring into the streets and smash the
institutions of those who allow these kinds of atrocities to go forward.
I think the era of politeness has gone on just about long enough and there's
going to have to come a moment where people stand up and are counted. We have
seen our freedom taken away, we have seen our environment destroyed, we have
seen our political dialogue polluted, and still we take it, and take it, and
take it. You know, being counter-cultural is more than a fashion statement. I
recall an obscure Chinese philosopher named Mao Tse Tung, who once said,
"The Revolution is not a dinner party!" Of course, he went on to say
it's an armed struggle, prosecuted by the forces of the people.
I don't think we're ready to call for armed struggle, but I think it is time
to call for "Hands Off The American Mind. GIVE US BACK OUR MIND." The
American mind is one of the most creative
minds in the world, and it is being confined, compromised, and sold down the
river by people who can't think of anything better to do with the world than
fabricate it into stupid products and sell it at twice its natural